Butterfly

The beginnings of a journey through space and time about magical butterflies and rabbits.

Image Credit: 
Public Domain

She was a butterfly.
Grown wings with patterning
that saw dreams shattering
as she fluttered by.

She could stop a heart at fifty paces;
invoke smiling faces, racing to be the first to say, “Hello,”
but she never stopped.
She was always moving on,
dancing in the evening song
of another summertime
that she sang of with passers-by.

That was until she met a rabbit.
He had a bad habit of dropping magic from his fingertips.
She could only think of him saying things like,
“Ahh, fiddlesticks,”
as he pulled himself from a hat.
She would grin, holding back
tears of laughter.

He would see this and ask her
to let the tears fall
and as they fell, he would collect them in bottles,
tipping them down a wishing well.
Wishing well, that she would wish him well
as he was off on his travels;
he had some truths to unravel and
a battle against time.

She was always on his mind
even when he was in desert or forest or
climbing over mountainous terrain,
his thoughts would remain the same;
of the butterfly back home.
He knew that when he saw her next,
she would have grown slow,
that time waits for no man, rabbit, or butterfly.
But he would just shut his eyes,
breathe in deeply, mark a sigh and
know that his path was important,
otherwise, she would have stopped for other guys.

The butterfly missed the rabbit deeply.
Each night, she would breathe easy when
she saw the stars draw the sky.
She knew that the rabbit would be looking up
and their eyes might share a moment.
Even over great distance, she knows him.
And he knows her, first star to the right.
The one she says is made for butterflies.

The hill to the valley they had lived in
had dressed in autumn’s colours.
The butterfly saw the rabbit on the horizon,
she brought him covers,
wrapped in silk and cotton.
The butterfly thought he might have forgotten her,
but spread her wings and started singing.

The rabbit, legs clinging to the ground,
took each step with consideration.
The anticipation of finally being home,
feeling sorry that the butterfly had been left alone.
He brushed himself down,
pulled some poppies from his pocket
rewound his watch and paused.
She was perfect.
The rabbit crossed wars with crossed swords
to cross doors that the butterfly lived in.
He’d made marks with frayed arms to sway hearts
to get home to her,
and here he stood,
listening to the shifting weight of her voice on the wind.
Frozen,
like the hour hands of a grandfather, a stopped clock.
He ticked, she tocked.
He called…
even the air fell silent.

The butterfly
stuttered.
Cluttered thoughts of all she wanted to say,
raced away and she was left with one.
“I love you,” she said.
The rabbit mustered all his strength,
pulled a ring he had found under a tree, and said,
“Marry me, butterfly, just marry me.”
The butterfly agreed,
landed on the knee of the rabbit
and together they sung of stars and shared magic dripping from fingertips,
as he pressed his lips to hers, sharing kisses of deliverance.

Alex Vellis is an award winning poet, published author, and playwright from Canterbury, Kent.

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